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Eat Work Art SPOTLIGHT: Lauren Collier

During their recent trips to Plymouth, Eat Work Art had the opportunity to speak with one of Alma Yard’s newest residents, Lauren Collier, to find out more about her work and what it’s like working at Alma Yard.

Lauren Collier is an artist working predominantly across printmaking, but has an interest working across lots of mediums as it helps her develop ideas through process and relinquish control.

Lauren Collier

“In my current work I’m really interested in how we relate to constructed images of landscape in relation to the physicality of place in an ever increasingly digital world. Using new and traditional techniques, my approach combines hand drawn images with woodcut and photography, pushing the potentials of what can be called printmaking.”

Growing up in the South West has been a constant inspiration for Lauren as coastal landscapes feature consistently in her work:

“Fragmenting and deconstructing photographs, I tear and crumple images into minute pieces before rephotographing with a macro lens, constructing new, seemingly miniature worlds.”

How long have you lived in Plymouth for? What do you love about it?

“My family moved from London to Plymouth when I was five, so I grew up here and have always loved the benefits of being in a city but also being minutes from the seafront. I moved away in 2014, coming back from London just before the first lockdown last year and I was excited to discover the burgeoning arts scene that’s developed over the last few years.

It’s definitely a more relaxed pace of life and everyone is so friendly, I feel very supported to be an artist in Plymouth at the moment. Also being on the Devon border, Cornwall is just across the river and trains to London are frequent if I want to go up for work or exhibitions, it’s really the best of both worlds.”

Lauren Collier

What’s been your biggest moments over the past year and what can we look forward to?

"Moving into the studio and taking the plunge of going full time was probably the biggest moment. Recently I’ve been working towards an exhibition at the Devon Guilds of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey, Devon, showcasing emerging artists, makers and designers in the South West, running over the summer until mid-September.

I’ve also just been accepted into the Woolwich Contemporary which is the largest print fair in the UK and exhibits some big names in print so that was another significant milestone for me. The exhibition is in November and I’m working on the prints for that currently."

Lauren Collier

What’s it like working at Alma Yard?

"Alma yard has been my first studio since I graduated from my MA and it’s already completely bolstered my practice and how I’m able to develop ideas. The spaces themselves have been so sensitively restored and having somewhere dedicated to work makes such a difference, it’s invaluable being in a place with other emerging creatives. The studio is near everything going on and the centre of town is quite compact so it’s really convenient being within walking distance of most things and will be so useful for any events or open studios at the site.

It’s really great having such an interesting cross section of people in the studios and so exciting seeing what’s to come as the site develops. Plymouth has one of the only remaining independent art colleges in the country as well as a huge art and design department at the university, so it’s needed somewhere for all this emerging talent for a long time and I think it’s going to be a big hub for creative practices in the city."

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What about the rest of the city?

There are also some amazing community-focussed organisations that have really invested in the arts in the city. Real Ideas Organisation, Nudge Community, CAMP and Plymouth Culture have all been working with the community in the development and promotion of creative businesses and projects. Real Ideas have also just opened the Market Hall, providing a meeting place for freelancers and should be great for the creative community.

I can’t wait to show friends from elsewhere what’s going on here, it feels like Plymouth is finally having the moment it deserves!

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